It’s time to write. I have a blog post due tomorrow, but I don’t have a topic idea. Nevertheless, I sit down at my computer, ready to let the ideas fly and the words flow.

I start a few sentences. They’re awkward, boring, nonsensical. Delete, delete, delete. I try again.


I snack. I watch YouTube. I check Facebook. I sit, staring hopefully at a blank screen.


Sound familiar? If you’re trying to build an online presence by sharing your ideas on a blog, chances are the above scenario has happened to you. But since online content is the currency of the information economy, it’s critical that you find a way to break through your creativity blocks and generate brilliance at will. Here are a few suggestions.

Step Away from the Keyboard

After many – too many – fruitless attempts to come up with ideas, I have finally learned that I don’t create at the keyboard. I record, expand and elaborate in front of my screen, but I need to ALREADY have an idea when I sit down. No idea, no typing.

Know yourself, and don’t keep doing something if it just isn’t working.

Let Your Subconscious Do the Talking

Let the inspiration come to you.

Leonardo da Vinci famously recommended relaxation as part of the creative process. Beethoven apparently spent long hours at the local tavern reading the newspaper. Flannery O’Connor tended her peacocks. Victor Hugo took ice baths.

If you’re stuck, do something different and come back to your writing with a more relaxed mind. If baths and peacocks aren’t your thing, you can try physical activity, reading fiction, doodling – anything to divert your attention while your mind creates connections of its own accord. A few minutes of yoga usually works for me.

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

The work day is “supposed” to start in the morning, right? When I was writing my book, I often planned to get started early, yet would stare at a blank screen for hours. My surge of creativity would come later in the evening, and I’d be energized enough to easily write into the wee hours of the morning. The lesson? Recognize and work with your rhythms, not against them.

Productivity expert Charlie Gilkey has a great tool for doing what he calls “heat mapping” your productivity.


According to mindfulness expert Rasmus Hougaard, author of One Second Ahead, once we’ve allowed our subconscious to flow, we need to close the loop – but we can’t force it. If you’ve cleared your mind and are ready to tackle your project again, ease into it. Doodle, mind-map, or do free-form word generation to let the ideas emerge organically.

Phone a Friend

Remember these?

Sometimes you’re just stuck, and there’s nothing you can do to un-stick yourself. In that case, it’s helpful to have a few friends, colleagues or mastermind buddies you can call for support and inspiration. At the very least, it’s nice to talk to someone other than yourself once in a while.

Getting stuck is normal. Staying stuck – well, that can be a problem, unless you’ve developed strategies and resources to help un-stick yourself. Try the suggestions offered here, and create your own list of go-to ideas for those times when that perfect “flow” just isn’t happening.


Karen Wright is a top executive coach and author of The Complete Executive – The 10-Step System for Great Leadership Performance. To learn more about Karen, visit

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